If you haven’t noticed, festivals and the EDM scene are getting more and more crowded. The entire scene is growing at an exponential pace which means that new people are discovering all the fun they’ve been missing out on. A common theme I’ve seen in forums and posts are long-time ravers who are unhappy with the crowds being overly aggressive, not PLUR (Peace Love Unity Respect), and overall a lot less fun type of people.
- Don’t Be a Dick
I feel like this should be pretty self explanatory, but I have a long history of being proven wrong by human nature. The top things that would make you a bad raver are things like stealing other people’s things, shoving people around, disrespecting people’s personal space, and general obstruction of another person’s good time. The easiest way to think about it (if you’re unaware if you’re a dick or not) is like this; if you don’t want it done to you, then don’t do it to other people. I’m very well aware that some people really get into being choked, slapped, and punched, but that usually comes with consent. Strangers don’t consent to you being a dick, so don’t do it. Easy peasy.
2. Understand The Meaning of PLUR
PLUR stands for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. According to a quick Google search, it’s origins date back to the 90’s from DJ Frankie Bones and is HIGHLY associated with our music culture. Within the EDM community it is understood that a festival or rave is a place to remove yourself from the realities of the world and understand that everyone has come there with the intention to have fun. So let’s define each letter:
P: Peace. There’s no reason get super angry and lose control because somebody else is pissing you off – be the bigger person and make peace of the situation and move on.
L: Love. The most powerful and confusing emotion that exists. To put it simply, just pretend that you love every human being in existence in that moment. Actual love, not the crazy type where you beat your ex “because you loved them so much”.
U: Unity. If you’re even a little bit spiritual, then you’ve surely come across teachings that say we all come from the exact same divine spirit, thus we are all connected. So treat people that way. If we’re all connected then we all share experiences and at a festival or rave, we want to share those experiences with happiness and joy. Be connected with one another as a positive and fun love individual.
R: Respect. This one is difficult for a vast number of people, but I’ll tell you what it means. Don’t be a dick. Take a look back at number 1 on this list and being a dick is the easiest way to be a disrespectful person. Showing respect is appreciating that everybody is having their own experience, so let them have it. Give them the space to do so and appreciate that people have different boundaries than yourself.
3. Drink Lots Of Water And For The Love of God, EAT SOMETHING
EDM festivals and raves are synonymous with extracurricular party favors. Nobody wants to deal with your blacked out, mind bent drama, because you haven’t eaten for 5 days while on a week long bender. Lol chill. Reality isn’t that bad – it’s what you make of it. Look after your body and your mind will follow suit. To an extent at least. Nothing can fix the fact that you make major life decisions because of shapes in the stars.
4. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
It doesn’t hurt to be on the lookout for bad things potentially happening. People going nuts with party favors, creepy people, broken things, etc. If you see somebody who looks like they might need some help, don’t be afraid to ask. EDM culture historically justifies that being kind to people is expected and it could truly make someone else’s festival experience more pleasurable. I’m sure we’d all like to think that nothing bad can ever happen on the festival grounds, but unfortunately we live on planet Earth. If you see something, say something.
I have a really good feeling that most of the changes happening in festival world as far as people’s attitudes, are just new fans who don’t know any better. Before I joined EDM world many, many moons ago, I was a hardcore rock metal fan. Bulldozing through the crowd, moshing, and shoving people around is just the way the shows operated. So learning how different EDM show culture is was something I gratefully learned. Which brings me to writing this; instead of just being angry at all these people and pointing out the wrongs, let’s take a moment to educate the new raver on how to do this thing properly. If it’s your first festival, first underground rave, or first time exploring anything related to the EDM festival culture take the time to learn that you’re in a totally different realm – take pleasure in knowing that your respectful behavior leads to other people having a great time as well.